Preparing For Your Initial Consultation With A Personal Injury Attorney
After contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss your case, you will be asked to come into the office for a free consultation. This consultation is your opportunity to learn more about the attorney and ask any questions you may have regarding your case. This consultation is also the attorney's opportunity to determine if your case has merit and decide if they wish to offer their services. With so much riding on the outcome of this initial meeting, it is important to ensure you have prepared properly before the date of your consultation arrives. Following the simple steps outlined below can help you to accomplish this task.
Step 1: Submit Requested Information
It is quite common for injury attorneys to request information from potential clients prior to their initial consultation. This information is then used to help the attorney prepare for the consultation as well.
In many cases, this request for information will come in the form of a questionnaire that is either mailed or emailed to you. In order to ensure that the attorney has ample time to prepare for your meeting, your first matter of business should always be to complete these questionnaires and return them to the attorney promptly.
When completing a questionnaire that was sent to you by an attorney, always remember that no information is still better than false information. Consequently, if you do not know the answer to one of their questions, it is always best to leave the question unanswered or simply indicate that you are unaware of the answer rather than to try and guess at the right answer.
Step 2: Gather All Of Your Documentation
While a personal injury attorney will certainly want to hear your version of events, a verbal statement will not be enough to successfully win your case against the insurance company. That is why it is always best to provide documentation that backs up your verbal statements. Not only will this help the attorney to see the merit in your case, but it will also help them to ultimately secure the best possible settlement in your case.
When gathering the documentation that pertains to your case, be sure to obtain copies of:
- medical records (only those that apply to your injuries)
- police reports
- witness statements and contact information
- correspondence with insurance company
Making copies of all this documentation prior to your consultation will allow you to easily present this information to the attorney quickly while still maintaining your original records.
Step 3: Make A List Of Questions For The Attorney
Most injury attorneys will limit the length of an initial consultation for several reasons. First, placing this time limit on your meeting will ensure that the attorney is able to give equal attention to all of their clients. Secondly, since this consultation is offered free of charge, setting a time limit will help to ensure the attorney's day still remains profitable.
While time limits are obviously quite necessary, they can also make it difficult for you to get the most out of your consultation. In order to help save time and ensure that all of your questions are answered, you will want to make a list of all the questions that can be provided to the attorney at the beginning of your meeting. This allows the attorney to easily transition from one question to the next, and will ultimately ensure that you get the most out of your limited time.